World-Class Food Processing Company

Assessing performance of a FOG (fats, oils, and grease) disposal system

The project and its challenges

A world-class food processing company was faced with simple issues associated with discharges to the municipal sewer system. The company was required to make its fats, oils, and grease (FOG) disposal system compliant so it could reduce its payments to the municipality. The existing system did not perform adequately, and the solutions considered involved changes to the existing facilities. Following the award of the contract, Seneca began by examining all sources of non-compliance. Our team then carried out laboratory testing to treat wastewater that would meet environmental criteria. By combining technical expertise and creativity, we found the lowest-cost solution to the problem. The required process was then developed and the existing system modified, thus maximizing the client’s facilities and lowering their capital investments. Our services included, among others:

  • Process design (the Seneca process package)
  • Project management
  • Detailed engineering/mechanical design
  • Assistance to obtain funding from government agencies
  • Laboratory testing
  • Technical assistance during start-up
  • Preparation of energy efficiency reports for the Agence de l’efficacité énergétique du Québec.

World-class food processing company


$800,000, with $300,000 in capital investments


2013 – 2015

The proposed solution

Analysis and development of customized solutions

The Seneca team assessed the situation to uncover all sources of non-compliance. Combining mechanical design with scientific and chemical engineering concepts, the team was able to find the lowest-cost solution to reduce the amount of waste generated and the volume of water required for the removal process.

Cost-effective waste recovery

Our team proposed the recovery of fats—typically transported to disposal or landfill sites—to produce biofuels and biodiesels. This will give the company a second life, while also reducing the plant’s GHGs. This green investment project, created and designed by Seneca, received a 60% subsidy from the Quebec government, and today generates a profit for this multinational company on what was previously considered an expenditure.

The results

  • Elimination of non-compliance issues associated with the sewer system
  • Reduction in total capital investment vs. initial assessments
  • Subsidies from the Agence de l’efficacité énergétique du Québec
  • 75% decrease in the plant’s discharges as well as associated transportation and disposal costs
  • 80% decrease in injected flotation chemicals, thanks to a better control of the chemicals and of the disposal system
  • Decrease in operating costs
  • Better scorecard for sustainable development.

Seneca’s expertise in designing transformation processes and producing highly accurate estimates provided reassurance for investors. The team will be mobilized until the completion of the commercial plant, and afterwards, as they became an asset to the client during deployment of its production operations.

Raymond Simoneau

Vice-President, Engineering and Process Development, Seneca

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